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84 of 94 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cecelia is the maker of magic!
After reading all of Cecelia's previous books I was really looking forward to receiving my copy of 'The Gift'. It arrived perfectly on time and my husband discouraged me from reading it until Christmas as the presentation of the book itself is like a gift and it really does appear to be a book for christmas day.

I couldn't resist and so pealed open the plastic...
Published on 24 Oct. 2008 by Rachel Phillips

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Story, But Not Ahern's Best
Lou Suffern loves work - so much that his family is just a nuisance, an inconvenience he has to deal with, even though he'd rather be making deals. He's constantly doing two things at once - holding a meeting and thinking about his night plans; talking to his wife and checking his blackberry, Lou's a great multi-tasker. One day, in a very rare generous moment, he gives a...
Published on 14 Dec. 2009 by L. Gibaldi


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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Gift For Christmas, 18 Dec. 2008
By 
Jess Hearts Books (UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Gift (Hardcover)
I originally brought this book to read over the Christmas period with the story being set over Christmas time. However one winter night with nothing to do and all my presents brought and wrapped for Christmas, I decided to start it to put me in a Christmassy mood. So I untied the red ribbon (which works well as a bookmark) and opened The Gift which is beautifully presented - present being the key word! At first the book started off a bit slow unlike Cecelia Ahern's previous novels that have all had me hooked straight away. I found it hard to warm to Lou at first but as you read on you see that's the whole idea and you do grow to like him as the book continues. I was a bit surprised that all the main characters in this story where men, but again I think Ahern done this on purpose as it really isn't her usual chick lit and is very different to her previous books. Although of corse there was that magical Cecelia Ahern sparkle that they all have in common. After getting to grips with the characters I was soon hooked and by the end I was in tears due to the shock ending which I won't spoil. I would recommend this to anyone it really is a lovely gift for someone for Christmas. It's quite short as well so can be easily read over the Christmas period. Anyone lucky enough to find this under their Christmas tree this Christmas is in for a real treat. A beautiful book inside and out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wake up call to all work aholics like me, 7 Jan. 2009
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Gift (Hardcover)
I gave my wife this book for Christmas. she was completely hooked and read it in just a couple of days. During the last chapter she was in floods of tears and then she insisted that I read it. Humouring her at first I started the read the first chapter and then found myself totally hooked. I read it from cover to cover in just two sittings. I could see so much of the character Lou in myself and could relate to the type of business life style he led and how he neglected what was really important. This was a real wake up call to guys like me. I won't spoil the message but this book should be made essential reading for every Manager and placed in every boardroom up and down the country. Excellent. It would also make a great Christmas movie, similar to its a wonderful life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good grown up fairytale read for a holiday, 23 Aug. 2010
By 
J. HOWARD - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Gift (Paperback)
I read this on a 4 hour flight. It is an easy read and kept me interested for that time. It is definitely a 'chick lit' book. You need to believe in fairytale and fantasy and have an open mind to believe in and enjoy it. The characters aren't particularly well developed but it is a good holiday read with a heart warming message and an original idea. It is not too dark and depressing for a holiday read and leaves you feeling positive despite sad moments. It is set around Christmas time but could be read any time of year. I would like to hear more about the police characters that the story starts with and there are a few loose ends that I don't feel Celia ties up, for instance why Gabe looks identical to the main character.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Whimsical and just brillaint, 7 Nov. 2008
By 
C. Stenhouse "Clara" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Gift (Hardcover)
After reading all other Cecelia books and not finding them immature at all, but rather whimsical and fantasical (after all it's her world and she can do what she like's with it!), I really enjoyed this book. Devoured it within a day. I loved how it was Christmassy the whole way through, from naming the chapters, to the christmas decorations to the fact it had a moral chapter at the end. I find it impossible to choose a favourite book of Cecelia's but i will say she manages to create a temporary best friend for me in every book. Brilliant.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read for Xmas with a lesson to learn for workaholics!!, 6 Dec. 2008
By 
A. Pedder (Northants, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Gift (Hardcover)
I am a fan of Cecilia Ahern books, I like the style & escapism. I read this is just 4 days, with the last pages filled with tears on a plane back home from a work trip - very embarrassing!

I look forward to more of her work in 2009.

Great buy for Xmas girlie friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointment for an otherwise excellent writer..., 11 Feb. 2009
This review is from: The Gift (Hardcover)
The build up on this book was quite good but I felt as though I was constantly trying to get to the "point" of it. for the last 30 pages, the book seemed terribly rushed and left me with alot of unanswered questions.

To compare it against the likes of P.S I love you throughout which I both laughed and cried, this read is rather depressing. On the plus side, there are a few rather well written messages within the books that can hit home to anyone that maybe doesn't appreciate their family as much as they should. Other than that, unless your an avid Cecilia fan and want to read every single one of her books, I wouldn't bother!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A modern Christmas story, 18 Nov. 2009
By 
This review is from: The Gift (Paperback)
This like Ahern's version of a Christmas story - ie with a moral to the tale. With the pace of modern life, comes sacrifice, so we learn with Lou, what we must do in order to enjoy life to its fullest.

It started off slowly and at first I couldn't relate to Lou, as he was so corporate and then Gab comes into his life (which makes him more personable) and slowly he is woken up and experiences the joy of life. It does make you think about your lifestyle and the pace of life. It is also heavier as in not being light-hearted than the average Ahern novel but it is still very readable.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Not just a Christmas read, 3 Feb. 2014
This review is from: The Gift (Kindle Edition)
I absolutely loved this book! I have had it on my bookshelf for a couple of years now and I hadn't got round to reading it, but I fancied something Christmassy and this one caught my eye. If it wasn't for having to go to work, I wouldn't have put it down until it was finished, but I still got it done in two evening sittings. It ended up not as a "nice, sweet, Christmas story" like I had imagined it would be (I have only read P.S. I Love You by Ahern before and expected this one to be just regular chick lit) but I still really enjoyed it, and it had me gripped from start to finish. It's a thinker of a book too, it really makes you look at your own life and think about what's important to you, and how you spend your time.

It's the story of Lou, a hard-working, business-minded career man. Lou always looks polished and professional and is always thinking about how to advance his career, whilst sleeping with secretaries, and spending evenings drinking in bars with colleagues and associates. Lou neglects his parents, his siblings, and his wife and their two children, but justifies this by knowing that his job pays for their nice house and clothes. One day he gets the wrong coffee from a coffee shop and notices a homeless man sat in a doorway opposite where he works, so he decides to take the coffee over to him. He ends up having a little chat with the homeless man, Gabe, and after Gabe reveals that he's been noticing people's shoes and who is going in and out of the office with whom (in particular one of Lou's colleagues, and a competitor for a promotion Lou is after), Lou thinks it might be useful to have this man working in the office with him, and using his keen eye to Lou's own advantage. However, after inviting Gabe to come and work in the building as a mail man, everything begins to change for Lou.

I highly recommend this book, not just as a Christmas read, but at any time of year.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written with important messages, 4 Oct. 2013
This review is from: The Gift (Paperback)
I had no doubts when starting this book because in my opinion, Cecelia Ahern is one of the most wonderful and unique female writers around at the moment - all her novels are so insightful and heart-warming. She's so young but writes like someone who is wise beyond her years as every single one of her novels includes important messages about value, love, life and the magic in the world that we sometimes forget exists. The Gift is set in modern day Ireland and is about our main character Lou, a extremely successful, driven, over-achieving business man. He spends his entire life letting his family down due to his obsessive need to do everything, be everywhere and be in two places at once. He then meets Gabe, a homeless man who resides in a doorway outside his building. Although Lou doesn't realise it at first, Gabe changes Lou's life and shows him the meaning and importance of time before it's too late.

Myself and Clare at AbookandTea was going to do a read along with this book but she very rudely finished it in 2 days and didn't give me a chance to catch up but here I am 3 weeks later - finally finished! Like all her books, I found this an extremely easy read. It wasn't hard going and the dialogue flowed very well and I managed to finish in just a few days. It was a good length and a nicely well-rounded story. Our main character, Lou, wasn't a particularly likeable character. But what I've noticed with all her books is that the main characters never are - they're never perfect but they manage to grow, develop and change throughout - which is was Lou did. Gabe was an interesting character as well and I completely agree with Clare when I say I think he was Lou's conscience all along.

I always feel so connected to Cecelia Ahern's books - like I'm the only person in the entire world who has read that story and her writing manages to keep you connected throughout the whole thing. The fast-paced chapters you find yourself reading really fast just to keep up, the shocking moments you end up reading over and over again and the emotional scenes that leave you welling up. This book was no different. Another quite specific thing I love about Ahern's writing is her descriptions and comparisons e.g. in this book she compares the sea to a stage actor and says, `There was a magic about the sea. People were drawn to it. People wanted to live by it, swim in it, play in it, look at it. It was a living thing that was as unpredictable as a great stage actor: it could be calm and welcoming, opening its arms to embrace its audience one moment, but then could explode with its stormy tempers, flinging people around, wanting them out, attacking coastlines, breaking down islands. It had its playful side too, as it enjoyed the crowd, tossed children about, knocked lilos over, tipped over windsurfers, occasionally gave sailors helping hands; all done with a secret chuckle'. The language she uses is beautiful and that's why I never hesitate picking up one of her books.

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4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 13 Dec. 2012
By 
Ms. Sj Phelps "sweetiepie1" (Reading, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Gift (Paperback)
WARNING! MAJOR SPOILERS!

I'll start off by saying I enjoyed this book. I didn't like the main character very much but I think that is the point, however I did warm to him by the end of the book.
The story was really intriguing to begin with. Having read over CA books I knew there would be a supernatural element but I couldn't figure out where it was going or what Gabe was up to which for the first half of the book meant I couldn't put it down. At first I thought it might be a retelling of 'A Christmas Carol' then I thought maybe somehow Gabe and Lou would magically switch places with Lou becoming homeless and realising how he took his life for granted etc.
Once we found out what the supernatural element was the book didn't grip me as much. It seemed to jump all over the place in the middle and lack direction. I would have liked to have learned more about Gabe, who he was for example and why Lou was so drawn to him at the start of the book. It seemed out of character for him to take the time to buy a homeless man a coffee so he must have been pulled to him in some way? For me there were some ends that werent tied up as neatly as they could have been.
The ending was very touching though. Although I did wonder about his car crash. The reason he was driving so dangerously and crashed his car was because of his last conversation with Gabe which made me think if it weren't for Gabe he would still be alive? Maybe we are supposed to assume he was fated to die anyway.
Defiantly worth reading. I have never read a CA book I didn't enjoy and will continue reading her work. I enjoy the magical twist that always occurs in her stories, there is so much samey chic lit out there - it is nice to read something with a different element.
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The Gift
The Gift by Cecelia Ahern (Hardcover - 20 Oct. 2008)
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